After seeing this question I began wondering - are there countries that say, Aussies or Kiwis (or anyone else) can get a work visa on arrival, or while in the country?

The best I've found is this:


which indicates availability of working holiday programs, but for several of them (Argentina for example) you are required to apply to Wellington (in my case) before being accepted.

Chile, on the other hand, you can't get one on arrival, but you can apply for one while being a tourist in the country.

So a chart or definitive source of countries where you can basically wander in and start working (legally) would be the ideal answer for this :D

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    Well I'm pretty sure Aussies and Kiwis can still get them in each others countries if nothing else. (-: Commented Sep 22, 2011 at 21:15
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    Work...in...Australia? (shudders) ;)
    – Mark Mayo
    Commented Sep 23, 2011 at 0:13
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    Pfft, come and have a hangi, put on your jandals and get some fush and chups bro, go for a paddle with the whanau in a waka and see if you can get beached as! ;)
    – Mark Mayo
    Commented Sep 23, 2011 at 12:14
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    That sound choice bro. Really choice. Commented Sep 23, 2011 at 12:42
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    @hippietrail 2 years on, the irony that I'm now living in Melbourne doesn't escape me... ;)
    – Mark Mayo
    Commented Oct 3, 2013 at 13:44

6 Answers 6


A seeming oasis of paperwork-free work possibilities is Georgia, a country not yet well established in the minds of travellers and tourists from the west, located between Turkey, Russia, Azerbaijan, Armenia, and the Black Sea.

Now it doesn't answer the letter of your question but I believe it answers the spirit. If not to the original asker then certainly to others who find this question by searching the Internet for instance.

So Georgia doesn't grant work visas on arrival and in fact I'm still not sure if they even have work visas specifically despite asking many locals and people working here and searching government websites. But most nationalities can visit without a visa and, despite the assumption-based answers to the question I once asked on this site, everyone is able to work here.

Basically you get an on-arrival tourist visa (passport stamp) but are allowed to work on a tourist visa!

  • No longer true as Georgia moved to the standard 90/180 regime nowadays.
    – JonathanReez
    Commented Nov 27, 2014 at 13:34
  • I know Aussies don't get 360 days anymore (maybe all nationalities that got it?) but last I heard from friends in Georgia it still wasn't clear about working. Commented Nov 27, 2014 at 13:38
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    Georgia is back to 365 days now :)
    – JonathanReez
    Commented Sep 16, 2015 at 11:28
  • @JonathanReez: Really? Do you have a link for that? Commented Sep 16, 2015 at 17:29
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    civil.ge/eng/article.php?id=28337. Received a nice 1-year stamp myself this year :)
    – JonathanReez
    Commented Sep 16, 2015 at 17:38

There's precisely one case that I'm aware of: if you're a citizen of a country that has signed the Svalbard Treaty -- and you probably are, since signatories include most all of Europe, the US, Canada, India, China, Japan, Australia etc -- you are "allowed to become residents and to have access to Svalbard including the right to fish, hunt or undertake any kind of maritime, industrial, mining or trade activity", which includes working in any capacity.

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Of course, there's a catch: Svalbard (Spitsbergen) lies at 74-81 deg N, a two-hour flight north of Norway, so it's pretty cold up there, and the population is under 3,000, which obviously means rather limited opportunities to actually find work. That said, it's a fairly big tourist destination so casual work is fairly easy to find in the summer season, but in winter there isn't much to do unless you're a coal miner. Or much to see, for that matter, since the polar night (=no sun) lasts from October to February!

Also, in order to get to Svalbard in the first place, you may need a Norwegian tourist visa so you can transit through to Longyearbyen.


Work visas aren't going to be given on arrival anywhere (I'd be highly surprised if they did). You'd be dealing with a lot of issues regarding taxation, potentially taking jobs away from local people, and benefits (or the lack thereof) - and Governments are starting to get really finicky about actual work visas as it is. Getting work visas, even working-holiday ones, involve an intense process that can be time-consuming and costly.

Most of the time getting some sort of work visa involves being sponsored by a specific company, and you're not really allowed to work anywhere else outside the scope of your visa. Having it be obtained on arrival would make this nearly impossible to do.

The closest thing I can think of is that when you come to Australia on an international student visa, after about a week or so post enrolment you can "upgrade" the visa to give you working rights (and even then they're greatly limited).

Just today I watched an episode of Border Security (Aussie TV show about customs) where two men on tourist visas were sent back to Portugal because they were found to have working documents on them, and the officials didn't accept the story of "I wanted to come to Australia to check it out first and see if I want to move here, the work documents were in case I do decide to return".


If you're Australian, New Zealander or Canadian (and possibly other nationalities but I haven't looked), you can apply for a Working Holiday Visa for The Netherlands (assuming you're eligible) after you have arrived. In fact, it is preferred over applying prior to arrival.

You are an Australian, Canadian or New Zealand citizen and you would like to spend some time (maximum one year) in the Netherlands in the framework of the Working Holiday Scheme/Program.

You travel to the Netherlands. You don’t need a visa to enter the Netherlands. If you want to work or study in the framework of the Working Holiday Scheme/Program you will need a residence permit, otherwise you will not be allowed to work without a work permit. Within 3 working days of your arrival you need to contact the Immigration and Naturalisation Service (the IND) for an appointment to apply for a residence permit (contact details: www.ind.nl ). The fee for this residence permit is 42 Euros, which has to be paid at the time of the application.


This is by far the quickest and easiest procedure. You can travel to the Netherlands as soon as you would like and you can start whatever you want to do there as soon as you have visited the IND.

Source - http://australia.nlembassy.org/services/visa/working-holiday-scheme%5B2%5D.html

  • Is there an age limit on this one? For Commonwealth countries the age limit changed several times but I believe it has been 35 for years now. What about the Netherlands? Commented Feb 21, 2018 at 3:16
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    @hippietrail For NL, "people who are aged between 18 and 30 years inclusive at the time of application" can apply for a Working Holiday Visa. See ind.nl/en/exchange/Pages/working-holiday.aspx
    – Sam
    Commented Feb 22, 2018 at 21:09

If you are an EU citizen you don't need any work visa to work in a EU country

As an EU national, you're entitled to work — for an employer or as a self-employed person — in any EU country without needing a work permit.

There are some exceptions, for example:

Croatian nationals still face temporary restrictions on working in the EU.

  • This answer is not up-to-date anymore. Commented Mar 11, 2014 at 22:47
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    Improve it then
    – Geeo
    Commented Mar 12, 2014 at 8:14
  • @Geeo I updated your answer (had already upvoted it a long time ago)
    – Relaxed
    Commented Nov 27, 2014 at 13:08
  • Is this answer up-to-date now? If we know it is, please delete Quora Feans's 2011 comment, and this comment. Commented Feb 21, 2018 at 3:18

I've obtained several distinct work visas in Germany, all were post arrival visas. I'm an American citizen, who visited as a visiting professor, but I thought most visa waiver partners qualify under most jobs that grant work visas.

You might find other German speaking or Scandinavian countries follow this rule as well, but always check with the consulate, maybe not all visa waiver partners qualify.

There is a slim chance of obtaining a post arrival authorization to work in one European country that shall remain nameless, but only under exceptional situations, and not reliably.

A priori, I'd expect Brazil offers your nationality exactly the same work visa options as your nation offers Brazilians.

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    There's a fairly big difference between being able to apply for a work visa for a specific job in the country (your case), and being able to rock up unannounced and get permission to work in any job (what the original poster wants). Commented May 21, 2012 at 23:43
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    The list of countries whose citizen can apply for a long-stay visa in Germany is markedly smaller than the list of those whose citizens can benefit from a visa waiver for short stays. I believe the former only includes Autralia, Brazil, El Salvador, Israel, Japan, Canada, New Zealand, South Korea and the US. (+1 as it seems nonetheless relevant)
    – Relaxed
    Commented Nov 27, 2014 at 13:14

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